Author Topic: Update On Ska  (Read 5976 times)

Offline -Kelly-

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4053
  • I Was A Rattie Mommy For 9 Years...
    • My FaceBook
Update On Ska
« on: January 04, 2005, 12:48:38 PM »
I came home today and Ska had his paws inside Dusty's cage. For anyone who doesn't know, cat scratches are fatal to birds, it can kill them.

I've tried squirting him with water, making loud noises, scaring him away from the cage. I don't know what else to do. I can't sacrifice the safety of my birds for him. I hate to be a TOTAL hypocrite, but I may have to have him declawed. I am at my wits end. I went in and watched a declaw at work and the Dr. says they are not painful anymore because they don't use the old fashioned technique. there was practically no blood and the cats were fine afterwards. But still...after preaching to people that it isn't fair to declaw cats, I find myself in this position. Why?

Sage has never been like he is, he just has more of a "prey drive" I guess. Sage could care less about the birds.

I just didn't expect him to be so prey driven b/c he has grown up with birds and rats being around him.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2005, 05:28:29 PM by -Kelly- »
Someday I will have ratties again, until then, chaotic (yet fun) mama life keeps me busy!

Offline Marybelle

  • Magic Wizard of Everything
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 25655
  • Weird, and proud of it!
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2005, 01:02:03 PM »
Are the birdcages on a table?  I've found that duct tape, sticky side up, on the table around cages is a very effective deterrent for cats.  The best part is, they actually learn it's "bad" all the time, because they don't associate the 'punishment' with YOU.  :)

Offline Tamara

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 556
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2005, 01:37:19 PM »
What about those Soft Paws/Claws being talked about in the other discussion on here?  If not then there is another procedure that I saw talked about as a last option as opposed to declawing.  I saw it on a holistic veterinarian's site.  I'll find you the link right away.  I have two declawed cats myself.  I am now on my own but was living with my parents when I got them and I didn't have any other option about the first cat.  When we got the second cat we didn't feel that it was fair or safe to have one with claws and one without so when our second was spayed she was also declawed.  There was a world of difference with how the procedures went in the two.  Gypsy the number one kitty went off without a hitch.  She slept the first day back home but after that she was just about back to normal right away.  She is just about eight now and has developed no biting problems, etc. that are often talked about.  She does however tend to be jumpy (no idea if this can be attributed to declawing).  The second experience with Targa was a huge difference and the reason why, if I can help it I will never declaw again. When we went to go pick her up from the vet's office they brought her out to me and I was horrified to see on her beautiful snow white paws covered with dried blood.  Upon enquiring what happened I discovered that she had ripped her bandage off on that paw and as a result was bleeding.  Apparently no one was watching her closely enough and I was told that she would just clean up the blood herself eventually.  Upon bringing her home we discovered when we let her down that the pain medication they had given her disoriented her so much that she couldn't walk straight.  She was so out of it and upset that she kept on insisting on walking along the inside ledge of a railing blocking of a 10 foot drop down our stairwell.  Finally the pain medication wore off so that she could walk straight but she refused to put her front paws on the ground.  It was excruciating to watch her walk and when she sat still, she sat up on her bum so that her paws were off the ground.  She is just about 7 now with absolutely no ill effects, beautiful, healthy, even-tempered girl.  However watching her go through that is something I will never forget and not something I want to have to watch another cat go through.  The procedure may have been improved somewhat but it goes differently for every cat as was so obvious with my two.
Here is that link that I was telling you about.  This article is from a holistic veterinarian in Kelowna, B.C. (Canada).  She talks about declawing and alternatives including a different surgical procedure that sounds much less invasive and doesn't involve cutting off any of the cat's digits.  Hope this helps some and good luck with your decision, it is not an easy one  :)
http://www.pawsitivevet.com/articles.htm#declaw

Offline ruthiechan

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4702
  • Ph34r!
    • Ruthiechan.net
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2005, 04:34:37 PM »
Obviously declawing is a last resort for you. (As it should be.)
So no, you're not a hypocrite.
You have to do what's right for your ENTIRE family.

Make sure your vet does the laser surgery. It's not nearly as traumatic.

Trying Soft Paws first might be a good idea.
~Ruthie
"Fear is the opposite of faith." -Susan W. Tanner
www.ruthiechan.net
www.n3f.org

Offline -Kelly-

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4053
  • I Was A Rattie Mommy For 9 Years...
    • My FaceBook
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2005, 04:41:44 PM »
He does wear soft paws, but they all fall off at different times, so there no knowing when they'd come off and he could scratch the birds. Like I said, today when I came home, both paws were IN the cage through the bars, no one around to notice if his soft paws were all there.

I work at a vet, so I'd be there through the whole procedure and the hospital I work at is a good one, our vets pay attention to what they are doing. I was there during Dante's whole neuter and Sage & Ska getting spayed & neutered and I am very comfortable with them. I have observed several cats after a declaw and they all seem fine, the thing that usually pi$$es them off the most is the bandages that stay on during the first night.   

From The Link:
Quote
One thing to keep in mind with tendonectomies is that your cat must allow nail trimming as the nails are still there and still grow, but they won?t be able to wear off the old growth by scratching and sharpening them anymore. So this procedure is not for the cats who become Tasmanian devils when they are restrained for manicures!

That wouldn't work, if they still have their nails then they can still infect the birds.

Quote
Are the birdcages on a table?  I've found that duct tape, sticky side up, on the table around cages is a very effective deterrent for cats

No, the cages are the big iron powdercoated kind, on their own stand with seed guards. (expensive cages!). Anyway, the duct tape thing won't work, I can't put it on the floor.

*sigh* I guess tomorrow I'll make his appt for Thursday. I asked at work and they said better to do it younger than older. Also they said that it's better to get it done than just throw him away at the pound (which I'd never do)

If it were just the furniture, I could deal with it, but I can't put my birds lives at risk. I have to swallow my pride I guess, but I can never say now that declawing is wrong. I still think it should not be done unless it's a last resort as this situation is, but I feel like such a hypocrite. I've always been against it.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2005, 04:43:55 PM by -Kelly- »
Someday I will have ratties again, until then, chaotic (yet fun) mama life keeps me busy!

Offline Marybelle

  • Magic Wizard of Everything
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 25655
  • Weird, and proud of it!
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2005, 04:55:45 PM »
Yipes.  It sounds like you've agonized over this enough, and if the alternative is giving him up to the pound to protect the other animals, then declawing is your only choice.  I know that if I was going to have a declaw done, there's only one person I'd trust to do it, as she does it with a scalpel, and not with dog nail clippers, like some people I've seen.  Being a receptionist at a vet's office can really open your eyes... 

Good luck with the declaw, and I'm sorry you had to come up against your morals this way...  Sometimes life just sucks.

Offline ruthiechan

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4702
  • Ph34r!
    • Ruthiechan.net
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2005, 05:10:55 PM »
I believe you are doing the right thing.

It is best to do it when they're younger since they bounce back better.

*hugs*
~Ruthie
"Fear is the opposite of faith." -Susan W. Tanner
www.ruthiechan.net
www.n3f.org

Offline -Kelly-

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4053
  • I Was A Rattie Mommy For 9 Years...
    • My FaceBook
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2005, 05:24:29 PM »
Quote
as she does it with a scalpel

That is how both of our vets do it. We used to have a vet that did it with the gillotine nail clippers, but he left to open his own business elsewhere.

Our vets also apply pain medication directly to the paws after the procedure, then wrap them up.

I am making his appointment for Thursday, I'll hope all goes well. He's a hardy cat, he should get over it quickly...I hope.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2005, 05:29:32 PM by -Kelly- »
Someday I will have ratties again, until then, chaotic (yet fun) mama life keeps me busy!

Offline ruthiechan

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4702
  • Ph34r!
    • Ruthiechan.net
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2005, 05:33:28 PM »
He's in my prayers.
~Ruthie
"Fear is the opposite of faith." -Susan W. Tanner
www.ruthiechan.net
www.n3f.org

Offline VegetarianPetLuvR

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1840
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2005, 10:13:04 PM »
So there's absolutely nothing else you can do, short of declawing? I too am extremely against it, though when the safety of your birds is at stake, I completely understand.

Just a thought though: Is there anywhere else you can move the bird cage(s)? A room that can be closed off to the cats, for example?

Offline Marybelle

  • Magic Wizard of Everything
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 25655
  • Weird, and proud of it!
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2005, 10:58:33 PM »
I had a thought on my way home from work tonight... How is he getting his paws in the cage?  Is he sitting on the seed guard?  Or is he getting them there from the floor?  If it's the seed guard, it may be as simple as removing the seed guard, and just doing more vacuuming.  ;)

Offline -Kelly-

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4053
  • I Was A Rattie Mommy For 9 Years...
    • My FaceBook
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2005, 06:56:54 AM »
Quote
Is there anywhere else you can move the bird cage(s)? A room that can be closed off to the cats, for example

Parrots are very social, I can't move them into a room that will be closed off all the time. If it were parakeets or finches or something I would, but not parrots, it can do emotional damage to them.  Also, we live in an apt, so there would not be any other room they could go in, their cages are big. We already have to keep the turtles in the 2d bedroom which will be our kid's bedroom once I get pregnant. And the turtles will still have to stay in it.

Quote
Is he sitting on the seed guard?  Or is he getting them there from the floor?

Ska is getting to the birds from the floor. The seed guards prevent him from being able to reach as far as he would be able to with them off.
Someday I will have ratties again, until then, chaotic (yet fun) mama life keeps me busy!

Offline elegy

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 3014
  • obey the pit bull.
    • shattering.org
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2005, 07:25:50 AM »
what about putting something like chicken wire over the cage, or some other kind of mesh that he can't get his hands through?

i know this is not a decision you are taking lightly, but i could never ever ever put my cats through a declaw. i don't buy the "it's not that painful" argument. it is painful, and i really don't think it's fair to punish a cat for being a cat.

i would put chicken wire on the cage and close the cat in a different room when you cannot supervise him. what does he do if you squirt him with water? what about trying those "scat mats"? you could put them on the floor surrounding the cage.

i'm sure there has to be a solution.

Offline ekw4petrescue

  • Forum Enabler
  • Posts Too Much!
  • *
  • Posts: 1662
  • Home of the Star Wars Rat Clan
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2005, 11:41:44 AM »
what about trying those "scat mats"? you could put them on the floor surrounding the cage.


I have had huge success with scat mats, to keep cats off of counter tops and certain pieces of furniture.  I got mine from www.drsfostersmith.com    Good luck with your kitty, whatever you decide.
Emily and the Star Wars Rat Clan

Offline -Kelly-

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4053
  • I Was A Rattie Mommy For 9 Years...
    • My FaceBook
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2005, 12:37:03 PM »
If it can harm the cat it can harm the birds. I can't put my birds at risk. The scat mats are the things that shock the pet right? I don't know if it would be safe since my birds tend to flutter or climb to the floor. They are picked up right away, but I don't think I want to shock my birds, they are more sensitive.

Also I'd have to buy 6 of them to go around 3 corners of each cage, I don't think I can afford that, and I don't want to risk any damage to the birds. The lowest setting is for puppies and pups are alot bigger than birds. 

I've talked to the Dr's and they said it hurts no more than a spay or neuter. It's a lot less invasive, they use scalpels and numb the paws. I also talked to each employee who's cat is declawed (got them done at work) and they each said their cats are fine. No behavioral problems or anything.

This has already been a hard decision to make, but I feel it's the right one to keep peace in my house. I'm sorry to those that I offend. I am basically insulting myself, but I never knew that they use scalpels and not dog nail clippers, everything I've ever saw online says they use nail clippers. That is the old fashioned way and that is the painful option. I have always preached that declawing is bad, but this is a last resort and of course I can preach no longer about it.

Elegy, I know it is him being a cat, but he can be a cat and kill my birds, or be a cat without claws. I choose the second option. I have to think of everyone that lives here.

Quote
what does he do if you squirt him with water?
He runs away (not very far away either), but later goes back anyway, he is a hard headed cat I guess.
 
I hope no-one thinks less of me for this, it's just what I feel is right. I can't bear to give him away, so this is the next best option. I'll keep everyone updated.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2005, 12:42:47 PM by -Kelly- »
Someday I will have ratties again, until then, chaotic (yet fun) mama life keeps me busy!

Offline ruthiechan

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4702
  • Ph34r!
    • Ruthiechan.net
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2005, 01:53:10 PM »
For what it's worth, I don't think less of you.
I hope others won't judge you for making the best decision you can under the circumstances.
~Ruthie
"Fear is the opposite of faith." -Susan W. Tanner
www.ruthiechan.net
www.n3f.org

Offline Marybelle

  • Magic Wizard of Everything
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 25655
  • Weird, and proud of it!
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2005, 03:10:32 PM »
I agree with Ruthie.  You've been thrown into a tough situation, where you've had to make a very hard choice, and decide what's best for the whole family.  I hope he comes through surgery ok, and has no issues.

Offline -Kelly-

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4053
  • I Was A Rattie Mommy For 9 Years...
    • My FaceBook
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2005, 12:31:18 PM »
Thanks guys! He was done today and was just waking up when I left for lunch. Everyone at my work agreed that I made the right decision. And soon enough (he's still under a year) that he shouldn't have any issues. They also said since he's more of a laid back type, that he should do fine.

I watched the whole surgery, I woke him up and took his tracheal tube out myself.

I'll keep you updated through the next few days. Oh and I am not looking forward to using YN as cat litter for 5 days, eew.

But it's for the best...
Someday I will have ratties again, until then, chaotic (yet fun) mama life keeps me busy!

Offline ruthiechan

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4702
  • Ph34r!
    • Ruthiechan.net
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2005, 02:56:32 PM »
I'll keep you updated through the next few days. Oh and I am not looking forward to using YN as cat litter for 5 days, eew.

Ewwww. . . I think that's the worst part.  :P
~Ruthie
"Fear is the opposite of faith." -Susan W. Tanner
www.ruthiechan.net
www.n3f.org

Offline -Kelly-

  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 4053
  • I Was A Rattie Mommy For 9 Years...
    • My FaceBook
Re: I don't know what to do...
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2005, 05:25:15 PM »
Well, he is home and TIRED from his 2 days at my work. He doesn't show ANY signs of pain and the Dr said he doesn't seem to be in any. The thing that he hated most was the bandages.

Here is the little pooper resting after his tiring 2 days.

Someday I will have ratties again, until then, chaotic (yet fun) mama life keeps me busy!

Offline Marybelle

  • Magic Wizard of Everything
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts Too Much!
  • *****
  • Posts: 25655
  • Weird, and proud of it!
Re: Update On Ska
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2005, 07:23:09 PM »
Awww, poor boy.  Hopefully he heals up quickly....   :-*